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Extended Audio Sample Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, by Portia de Rossi Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (18,378 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Portia de Rossi Narrator: Portia de Rossi Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From actress Portia de Rossi, a revelatory and searing account of the years she spent secretly suffering from anorexia and bulimia, all while living under the glare of Hollywood’s bright lights.

“I didn’t decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. No more wondering whether I could fit into a sample size dress, or if the camera would catch a bad angle. I just wanted to excel in dieting. And weighing in at 80 pounds on 300 calories a day, I was the best little dieter there ever was.” In this groundbreaking memoir, Portia de Rossi reveals the pain and illness that haunted her for decades, from the time she was a twelve-year-old girl working as a print and runway model in Australia, through her early rise to fame as a cast member of the hit television shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development . All the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, putting her life in danger and concealing from herself and everyone around her the seriousness of her illness.

She describes the elaborate rituals around food that came to dominate hours of every day and explores the pivotal moments of her childhood that set her on the road to illness. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner, ever more in control of her body and the number of calories she consumed and spent.

From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love and marrying Ellen DeGeneres and emerging as an outspoken, articulate advocate for gay rights and women’s health issues. In this remarkable and landmark work, she is giving the world a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “The path de Rossi took to her happy ending is well worth reading about: her story is a cautionary tale, an inspiration, and a triumph.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Breathtakingly honest, brutal and beautiful.”

    Jonathan Safran Foer

  • “De Rossi tells her story with genuine insight and unflinching honesty. You will cheer her on.”

    Jeannette Walls

  • “Possibly the best book on the subject ever written. De Rossi is the real deal, a fine writer with a sharp mind and substance. This rich, layered book of remarkable courage, power, and significance will serve as life-changing inspiration for many.”

    Augusten Burroughs

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jane | 2/16/2014

    " The book was both amazing and greatly unsettling. It certainly opened my eyes to what an eating disorder looks like, what thoughts appear in a girl's head, what kind of obsession it is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Joe | 2/16/2014

    " A thought provoking read that puts life into perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Estelle | 2/10/2014

    " Beautifully honest and insightful. A disturbingly raw read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/9/2014

    " I tried to read this book last Christmas when I received it as a gift but I couldn't get more than a couple chapters into it. I'm not sure why, maybe it was the writing style or maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind at the time to read a book about such heavy subject matter. Well, I'm glad I gave it another shot. The author was brutally honest about her struggles with not only her eating disorder but the fact that she is gay and how difficult it was to be a celebrity with these issues. I was very happy to read about her recovery and the fact that she was finally able to find a loving supportive relationship with Ellen. "

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